The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will end “Temporary Protected Status” for roughly 9,000 Nepalis in June 2019.
Agency chief Kirstjen Nielsen said in a press statement about the TPS decision:
The decision to terminate TPS for [people from] Nepal was made after a review of the environmental disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist as required by statute. Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Nepal from the April 2015 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks that served as the basis for its TPS designation have decreased to a degree that they should no longer be regarded as substantial, and Nepal can now adequately manage the return of its nationals. Thus, as required under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.
Since the 2015 earthquake, conditions in Nepal have notably improved. Additionally, since the last review of the country’s conditions in October 2016, Nepal has made substantial progress in post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction.
The DHS will help the Nepalis migrate home, she added.
The 12 months will also provide time for Nepal to prepare for the return and reintegration of its citizens. During this timeframe, DHS will work with the Department of State and the Government of Nepal to help educate relevant stakeholders and facilitate an orderly transition. In addition to materials posted online, DHS components will participate in outreach activities such as teleconferences, town halls and roundtables to ensure that affected populations have a full and accurate understanding of their rights and obligations.
Next up, officials must consider soon whether to extend TPS status for 57,000 migrants from Honduras. The Hondurans got TPS in 1998 because of Hurricane Mitch, but the temporary status was repeatedly extended by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
DHS officials have already ended TPS status for roughly 200,000 Salvadoreans, 59,000 Haitians, 5,000 Nicaraguans and a small number of Sudanese.
Many of the TPS recipients were illegal immigrants in the United States when the disasters hit their homelands.